I have started this petition because the current VA (Veterans Affairs) law states that a veteran can claim a child as a "dependent child" towards their disability entitlements whom they have relinquished all parental rights to and has been legally adopted by someone else. Upon contacting numerous agencies as well as individuals in the Veterans' Affairs District and Regional Offices, they informed me that the definition of a "child" according to USC Title 38 Sec 101 states:
(A) The term “child” means (except for purposes of chapter 19 of this title (other than with respect to a child who is an insurable dependent under subparagraph (B) or (C) of section 1965(10) of such chapter) and section 8502 (b) of this title) a person who is unmarried and—
(i) who is under the age of eighteen years;
(ii) who, before attaining the age of eighteen years, became permanently incapable of self-support; or
(iii) who, after attaining the age of eighteen years and until completion of education or training (but not after attaining the age of twenty-three years), is pursuing a course of instruction at an approved educational institution
There needs to be some sort of clause that states if the veteran relinquished all parental rights and the child was legally adopted by someone else, that child would no longer be considered the Veterans'. Providing half of the DNA for a child does not entitle an individual to use that child for personal gain, when he or she is no longer the legal parent. Claiming a "dependent child" on your benefits is used to help provide for a child that depends on you either, financially, physically, or emotionally. If that is no longer true, then you should not continue to receive the additional payment . When a legal adoption of a child occurs it specifically states, "The adoption relieves the birth father/mother of all parental rights and responsibilities, and terminates all legal relationships between the birth parent and child, so that the child shall hereafter be a stranger to the birth parent for all purposes. The adoption now creates the relationship between the child and the adopting parent that would have existed if the child were a blood descendent." It is very clear and specific.
I want this law to be changed and I also strongly believe that it should be back dated to the day of the Adoption and any monies taken since then should have to be paid back to the VA. Lets get this money going to Veterans who need and deserve it, not people who are playing the system and have found a loophole.
On Tuesday, February 25th, 2014, ABC 11 in Raleigh, NC aired our story! We had an Amazing reproter, Diane Wilson, who worked very hard on shedding light on this issue. You can view the news cast at the link below.
Thank you for taking the time to read. Please sign and share this if you agree and want to see this law changed as well.